PLAB FAQs

What is the PLAB?

Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB)

The Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board test, or the PLAB test, helps GMC to make sure doctors who qualified abroad have the right knowledge and skills to practise medicine in the UK.


► What is the PLAB test?

The exam tests your ability to apply your knowledge for the care of patients. It doesn’t test how well you can remember and recite facts. Questions relate to current best practice in the UK, and equipment routinely available in UK hospitals.

You’ll need to answer the questions in relation to published evidence and not according to your local arrangements.

The test assesses your ability, as a doctor, to work safely as a senior house officer (SHO) in a UK NHS hospital.


► Entry Requirements?

A primary medical qualification and your medical school listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools.

IELTS Academic modules and a score of at least 7.5 overall and a minimum of 7.0 for all the four language skills. or OET Academic modules – B grade.


► How many parts are there in the PLAB test?

There are two parts: Part 1 & 2

Part 1 : Single best answer questions, total 180 questions in 3 hours
Part 2 : 18 scenarios, each lasting eight minutes


► Part 1 : What does the exam cover?

The exam covers the common, important or acute conditions (those common in emergency departments) seen by trainees entering the second year of the Foundation Programme (F2), and the management of long-term conditions seen in primary care. It excludes the advanced duties of a general practitioner (GP).


► Part 1 : When can i sit the test?

PLAB Part 1 runs four times a year in the UK and twice overseas.

UK PLAB P1 test dates(2019) : 14 March, 27 June, 5 September and 7 November
Overseas PLAB P1 test dates(2019) : 14 March and 7 November

Click here for more information about the latest dates


► Part 1 : Where can i take the test?

Australia – (Sydney), Bangladesh – (Dhaka), Canada – (Toronto), Egypt – (Cairo), Ghana – (Accra), India – (Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi), Nigeria – (Lagos), Pakistan – (Islamabad, Karachi), Saudi Arabia – (Riyadh), South Africa – (Johannesburg), Sri Lanka – (Colombo), Sudan – (Khartoum), UAE – (Dubai)

If your country is not listed, you have to visit over neighboring country to take the test.


Book using your GMC Online account


► PLAB P1 : How much does it cost?

Test fee is £235


► Are there any concessions for refugees?
If you are a refugee doctor living in the UK, the fee for part 1 will be free of charge for your first two attempts. Click here for more details.


► How to prepare and what resources?

The PLAB blueprint
The Foundation Programme curriculum
Guidance and interactive tools
Course : ABMA Online PLAB P1 Course


► When will be the results published?
Your results will be available around six weeks after you take the exam.

Click here to find out about results dates


► What do i do after pass?
If you pass PLAB 1 you can immediately apply to take PLAB 2 using GMC Online.
You can’t apply for PLAB 2 before the results have been issued.
You must pass PLAB 2 within two years of the date you passed PLAB 1.


► What do i do if fail?
If you fail PLAB 1, you can book to take the exam again provided you still meet all the requirements. You can attempt the exam a maximum of four times.


► PLAB 2 :What does the exam cover?
The exam covers everything a UK trained doctor might expect to see on the first day of Foundation Year Two (F2).
Names of drugs referred to in the exam are those contained in the most recent edition of the British National Formulary (BNF).
The PLAB blueprint sets out the scope and content of the test. It includes the topics, skills and procedures that a doctor who passes the test would need to know and be able to do. It also provides details of the professional qualities expected of a doctor working in the UK.


► PLAB 2 : Where can i take PLAB 2?
You can take part 2 at GMC clinical assessment centre in Manchester, UK.


► PLAB 2 test dates

PLAB 2 test dates throughout the year. You can view available dates and book under the ‘My Tests’ section of your GMC Online. You can only do this once you have your PLAB 1 results.


► PLAB 2 : How much does it cost?

£860 from 1 April 2019.


► Are there any concessions for refugees?
If you are a refugee doctor living in the UK, the fee for part 2 will be reduced by 50% for your first two attempts.


► PLAB 2: What resources should i use?
The PLAB blueprint
The Foundation Programme curriculum
Guidance and interactive tools
Course : ABMA PLAB Part 2 Course in Manchester


► PLAB 2: When do i get my results?

Your results will be published on the Wednesday of the 4th week after your testing week. We publish results at approximately 10.30 am.


► PLAB 2: What do i do after pass?

When you pass the exam, you can apply for registration with a licence to practise. You must have your application for registration with a licence to practise in the UK approved within two years of passing part 2 of the exam. This applies from the point you take part 2, not the date you get your results.


► PLAB 2: What do i do if fail?
If you fail the exam, you can book to take the exam again provided you meet all the requirements. You can attempt the exam a maximum of four times.

Commonly Asked


How long does it take to become a consultant?

Once you have completed your FY1 and FY2 years you need to make a decision on whether to be a medical doctor, surgical trainee or enter GP (general practitioner) training.

MEDICAL DOCTOR
FY1, FY2, Core training year 1, CT year 2, CT year 3

GP TRAINING
FY1, FY2, GP training year 1, GPT year 2, GPT year 3
*After completing year 3 of GP training you are now a GP Consultant.

SURGICAL TRAINING
FY1, FY2, Surgical training year 1, ST year 2, ST year 3, ST year 4, ST year 5


Difference between a medical doctor, surgical trainee and GP?

A medical doctor does not complete complex surgeries but does manage conditions that don’t always need surgery. For example if you had Pneumonia you would see a medical doctor who would manage your condition. If you needed your appendix removing you would need to see a surgeon. A large over simplification but it should help you see both are doctors but they have different training pathways and therefore have different roles.

A surgeon is a doctor, they have just been through a specific training pathway that specialises in surgery.

General Practitioners (GPs) are normally community based doctors who deal with all common medical conditions. They are normally based in a healthcare centre or “practice”, they can also conduct home visits for patents that can’t reach the practice. GPs are often the first point of contact a patient has with the healthcare system and they manage patients who do not need to be in hospital and also refer any into hospital that requires additional treatment.


Surgery Career Paths

As your career progresses from medical school student through to surgeon, you will go through a number of stages that all have a level of competitive entry.

The training pathway, Fixed term specialty training appointments & Career grades

The training pathway is the most direct route through surgical training.

Foundation Training (2 Years)
Core Surgical Training (2 Years)
Speciality Training (~ 6 Years)
Completion of core training competencies, MRCS Part A&B passed, and mandatory courses. Varies by specialty.

Career Path of a Urologist

After completing a recognised medical degree, a typical postgraduate pathway includes progression through foundation training, core training and specialty training as detailed below:

Foundation Training (Paid training job – 2 years)

Core Training (2 Years – CT1 & CT2)
During this training programme, the doctor would be expected to complete the Membership of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons (MRCS) examination.

Specialty Training (5 Years – ST1,ST2,ST3,ST4,ST5)
Upon completion of this training scheme, a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) is awarded and the candidate is eligible to apply for a senior Urology appointment.

Post CCT Fellowship (1-2 Years – ST6/ST7)
These 1 or 2-year posts (ST6-7) may be pursued upon obtaining a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT).

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